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robson-on-politics 28 May

robson-on-politics 28 May

robson-on-politics, a weekly newsletter from Matt Robson MP Deputy Leader of the Progressive Party

Progressive: positive about people and jobs

Fri 28 May

A more Progressive Budget

There isn't any doubt in my mind that Budget 2004 has been the most progressive yet since our minority coalition government first came into office nearly five years ago. Some say it's the most progressive in 30 years When Jim Anderton and I first went into coalition, there were 193,000 fewer New Zealanders in paid employment than there are now. We are delivering. Jobs, and also the training and education necessary to get into employment in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Budget 2004 includes $56.9 million more over four years more for this Cornerstone Commitment of the Progressive party.

See 'Jobs, training are building blocks'

We've just delivered our fifth Budget in an extraordinary environment where the unemployment rate has dropped to be at its lowest level in a generation. New Zealand's unemployment rate is lower than anywhere except for tiny Luxembourg, mighty Switzerland and that model of economic developmentalism - South Korea. Budget 2004's contribution to transforming the industrial base of our economy is the most ambitious since Sir Julius Vogel in the 19th century. We've put in place an integrated and comprehensive approach to promoting economic development. 'Supporting sectors to succeed' 'Raising management capability'

It is focused on strengthening and deepening New Zealand's connections with the world economy. In other words - it helps us do a better job of selling to the rest of the world high-value, high-skill products that customers overseas really want to buy.

That is the only way to ensure on-going or sustainable prosperity for all New Zealanders. That is why we've delivered half a billion dollars over four years to unleash New Zealanders' creativity and talent by investing in capability of small businesses, in opening doors to our businesses in new overseas markets and in the skills and training of our people.

'$500m supporting economic growth'

but 'National threatens growth'

We have a government at last that is investing properly in research and science, and in the education sector. We have a progressive administration that is supporting the hothouses of innovation, and improving their links with the world, to help commercialise New Zealand innovation.

'Promoting NZ in the world'

'NavMan, another Kiwi success from government partnership'

The Progressive Party is committed to ensuring no one lives in poverty and that families' interests are protected.

'Hip Op Hooray' (what a groaner!) says Matt Robson as knee, hip operations double

The Labour Progressive Budget 2004 unashamedly aims to reduce financial hardship for families, to invest in the War against drug-peddling gangs and to look after the victims of drug abuse. Why? Because we know that economic and social development go hand in hand.

Turning offenders around

In Whakatane on Saturday I presented certificates to the graduates of the Te Rakau Ote Ora programme at Te Hokowhitu Atu Marae. This is a programme operated by the Probation Service with the marae for young offenders. One proud young graduate told the audience that this was "the first certificate that I have ever received in my life". The Progressives will continue to advocate for resources for programmes that rehabilitate by building skills, self-esteem and pride. Congratulations to Ronnie Stewart-Ward, Kapua Te Ua, and their team, and to the Probation Service staff at Whakatane. Matt Robson speech

A forgotten tragedy

On May 14 I wrote about the people of southern Sudan, butchered by government-backed militia. This week saw the UN Security Council condemn the atrocity. At home, New Zealanders can support the people of the Darfur region by giving to the appeals of Christian World Service (0800 74 73 72) and Oxfam (0800 600 700.) and

A further step in saying 'No to Drugs'

Associate-Minister of Health Jim Anderton this week launched a new stage in the anti-drugs strategy of the Labour-Progressive government. $54 million is allocated over four years to fight drug crime and support victims. 'Delivering on anti-drugs strategy'

Private-profit prisons paroled

Another Progressive policy plank was ticked off this week when the Corrections Bill was passed. Privatisation of the prison system, introduced by the last government and supported by the Opposition, has been stopped in its tracks. The Corrections system will remain in public hands so prisons can concentrate on rehabilitation and re-integration rather than on profits for shareholders.

Matt Robson speech: 'Corrections law change vital in fighting crime, rehabilitating lives

Tomorrow, the Wigram electorate selects its candidate. See for the result and for more on the latest news. Radio 531PI, Sunday 12 - 1, is the Robson Hour. This week: Jim Anderton and Richard Prebble


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